“The call for which I waited months!”

By Vikrant Shukla

Looking back… it was hard to think that I would be able to write beyond a couple of pages.

I wrote a few pages, got tired, bored, exhausted and confused. A thought came up after every page – ‘Will someone like what I am writing?’ The answer was always negative. Nothing different. It is the human psyche, I believe. Negative always comes first.

No one but my family members appreciated my efforts.  “A writer in making,” my brother said one day, and I smiled in reply. I took that as a comment but later I realised he motivated me. He was indeed trying to pamper me to work harder. Thank you Brother!

A couple of pages became a couple of chapters and I spent many sleepless nights fighting and fixing the lives of the characters in the book. The characters used to come in my dreams, asking, “What’s next, we are waiting.” and I started feeling maniacal. I started loving them, started to like the way they communicated with me. I used to get up after three or four hours of sleep and tried to write as much as possible. But I would leave for work on time and always tried to make sure that my professional life didn’t suffers. I was late to realise that Week Off’s are the best days to work on the manuscript.

The toughest chapter to write was ‘A Night @ Holkar Bridge’ as I wanted to make the scene real. For that I went to the bridge at three in the night with a friend of mine. Initially, he seemed very brave and composed. We walked on the pedestrian walkway and felt nothing. I enjoyed the beauty. I noticed that people crossing the bridge looked at us with curious and questioning eyes; I assumed they wanted to make sure we were not psychos or spirits.

I wanted to spend more time but my friend was uneasy there. We came back. Feeling of being there at odd hours was amazing and I agree that the air becomes heavy there and you can feel the presence of the unseen around you. I also admit feeling the presence of unknown there made me write in detail about dark religion and unseen forces, and it impacted my writing style as well. My writing became intense. My novels, Life A Sucking Trap and Billycan Hill will soon be out.

After I finished the book and revised it I realised there were many errors and mistakes. I cursed myself. Corrected them and had to change some content as well. Having revised the draft, I found some more errors. It was getting hectic, day by day. I thought of taking a break and left the manuscript safe in the hard drive of my computer for a week. I returned after a few days, went through it and finally, it was over.

Then came the main part: approaching publishers to get the manuscript published. Confidence was just over the limit. I mailed the synopsis to one of the top publishing houses. I am sure they did not even bother to check the sample chapters because they reverted to me in 10 hours, saying: “We are busy with other projects now and won’t be in a position to look up your work. Good luck.” First rejection was hard to digest.

I looked at the manuscript again. This time it looked perfect. Approached another publisher and got a positive response. They liked the concept and asked for the complete manuscript. I was afraid of sharing the completed manuscript over the email so gave them a hard copy. Once I handed over the bulky file to the publisher, the long waiting period started. Every month when I called the publisher, I got the same dry response, “We’ll get back to you soon.”

I started developing a feeling that the publisher was not willing to say a blunt ‘no’ and would sugarcoat it. I was mentally prepared for another rejection. I even stopped calling the publisher.

Few days later, on a busy morning, I got a call from an unknown number. I picked up the phone just to say, “I am in a meeting. I will call back later.” It was the call for which I waited months – the publisher wanted to publish Call Centre An Inside Story.

All my bad luck seemed to melt away. I moved onto finishing all the hectic work of editing, finalising the book cover and signing a contract. There was no ISBN number available with the publisher; it went out of stock for my book. Had to wait for another two months and finally the book went for print.

I was with one of my friends at a store when I noticed a girl. She just picked up something from the store and walked towards the billing counter. I looked at her again, this time from the corner of my eyes. She was a real treat. She ignored me completely; I looked at myself and for the first time cursed myself for not having worn something better looking!

“Let’s go,” my friend said. We walked towards the exit gate. I looked at her one last time. I saw the man at the counter keeping a copy of Call Centre An Inside Story in a paper bag for her. I screamed, “I just saw her buying my book!” my friend looked at me and smiled.

We walked out of the store happy. Very, very happy!!!




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This entry was posted on Saturday, December 31st, 2011 at 10:57 am and is filed under Authors, Authors Speak. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. January 3rd, 2012 | Shail Raghuvanshi says:

    Wow! This is great! Congratulations. All your hard work finally paid off. Wishing you all the very best always.

    A fellow writer.
    Shail Raghuvanshi

  2. January 3rd, 2012 | Swati says:

    Happy to hear that God bless!
    Infact I am feeling the same when I am writing my first fiction book.

  3. January 13th, 2012 | Master prince says:

    I am also a writer.
    Working on my novel, my situation is same as like you.
    Felt nice after reading your situation before publishing your book.
    Have a great future my dear.

    Your, ww.

  4. January 19th, 2012 | Geet Chatur says:

    Motivating and inspiring.
    I can feel the expressions and was able to connect with whatever is written, Expressions are hard to portray, you did it well.
    A reader and a writer!!!

  5. February 16th, 2012 | Jash Sen says:

    This was incredibly encouraging. And honest. I’ve written a book too. Took loads of courage from your situation. You’re right about family – they’re really the best.
    All the best, and check out my site if you’re interested: http://www.wordkeeper.yolasite.com

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